Teaching financial responsibility to your children is one of the most important jobs you have as a parent, and one of the best ways to do that is by opening a kids savings account for them. Children reap the most benefit from having a savings account as their first “grown-up” account, in part because it will teach them the importance of saving money. They’ll also be able to see their funds grow, and it’s a better option than a checking account, since most kids don’t need to use checks or debit cards regularly.
After all, a checking account is for spending money, whereas a savings account is perfect for teaching children how to save, a skill that will come in handy down the line as an adult. Plus, a savings account also offers higher interest rate returns on their money and savings accounts often have lower fees than checking.
Read on below to find out our top picks for the best bank accounts for kids.
|Bank||Maximum APY for Savings Account||Minimum Deposit|
|Alliant||1.65% APY||$5 to open; $100 to earn interest the high-yield savings account|
|Capital One||0.60% APY for a kids savings account
1.70% on a regular savings account
|PNC Bank||1.75% APY||$25|
|TD Bank||1.15% APY||$0|
At 1.65% APY, Alliant gets top scores for a high return on your money. They offer no fees if you opt out of paper statements and into e-statements, and they’ll even pay the $5 account minimum to get your child started with a savings account, although the account won’t begin earning interest until the balance reaches $100.
Alliant also offers an online banking app so that you and your child can manage their money digitally by making deposits and keeping an eye on the balance.
Once your child turns 13, they will become eligible to apply for a teen checking account with Alliant.
Keep in mind, though, that because Alliant is a credit union, you have to be a member to bank with them, but almost anyone can become a member. This includes:
- Current or retired employees of Alliant
- Anyone who lives or works near the headquarters in Chicago
- An immediate family member of any current employee
- Members of Foster Care to Success, a college fund for foster children. Alliant will even pay the
- $5 for you to become a member of FC2S.
Ally doesn’t offer a designated savings account for kids, but this bank is still an excellent choice due to the high APY that comes with opening a savings account. Ally’s savings accounts don’t require a minimum deposit requirement, nor are there any fees, and you can get up to six transactions per statement cycle. This bank also offers the Ally mobile banking app so that you and your child can keep track of their account balances and the interest they’ve earned.
Ally also received second place in overall satisfaction, according to the J.D. Power 2019 Direct Banking Satisfaction Study. Their site offers customers a ton of financial tools, as well as information about financial planning and goal setting.
The only caveat is that if you want to open a savings account for your child, you will have to put the savings account in your name because Ally does not offer joint accounts. They do provide custodial account options, though.
Capital One offers a good APY on savings accounts and doesn’t charge fees or require a minimum deposit requirement, which makes it a solid choice for a kids savings account. This bank also has a mobile app that your child can use to look up information on their account, but they’ll need a parent or guardian’s help to move money in or out of the savings account. You can also set up automatic deposits, set savings goals and link accounts.
Making a deposit is simple; you just upload a photo of a check through the app or mail it to the bank in an envelope. Capital One has excellent online customer support and is available 24/7 via phone and Twitter.
Chase Bank has over 5,100 branches and offers access to 16,000 ATMs across the country, but the interest rate on an average savings account is pretty low at .01% APY. There is a way to get a higher APY, though. If you happen to be a Chase customer with a Chase Premier Account that has over $250,000 in it, you can link that account to a savings account and get a rate of up to .09% APY.
Chase doesn’t offer kids savings accounts, or they don’t offer savings accounts for very young children, anyway. Their accounts target teens and college students, but depending on your goals, it might be a little late to teach financial responsibility to your kids when they’re in their teens. On the upside, there is no monthly service fee if you’re under 18 or you maintain a balance of at least $300.
There are higher rates out there for kids bank accounts, but one of the pluses about Chase is their highly rated mobile banking app, which may make it easier to help your kids learn about saving money.
PNC offers “S is for Savings” accounts, which are directly targeted at younger children. While the APY rate on those accounts is low, there are no monthly fees for anyone under 18, and PNC offers online tools featuring Sesame Street characters to help your child learn about savings and money.
PNC breaks their information in the app down into three categories: saving, sharing and spending. There are also online activities you and your child can do together to help them learn about money. While the interest rate isn’t as high as some, the online education features make PNC worth a look. You can also take advantage of goal-setting options and you have an unlimited number of deposits available with this bank.
There are TD Bank locations across the east coast, and if you live in that area, this bank may be the right choice for you and your child. Their slogan, “America’s most convenient bank,” refers to the fact that they have later hours than most banks and are open on Sundays, which makes it simple to find an open branch at a time that’s convenient for you.
On the downside, TD Bank doesn’t offer a kids savings account, so if you want to go through them, you will have to open a joint savings account with your child. There are no fees for customers under 18, though, nor are there fees if you maintain a balance of $300 in the account. If your balance is under $300 or your child is over 18, you’re looking at fees of $5 a month, or $4 a month if you opt for e-statements.
What TD Bank does have going for it, though, is the Wow!Zone, an online tool that breaks down financial information by grade level. Grade one features an introduction to saving and spending, and older children or young investors can participate in the virtual stock market game in which you compete against other players.
If you have a hard time getting to the bank during normal banking hours and you live in an area where there are TD Bank locations, you should take a look at what they offer for your kids’ savings account.
What is a kids bank account?
A kids bank account is a savings account that is often free of fees and earns interest at a good rate. It’s important for kids to learn about saving and setting goals, which is what a savings account will help them do. Some banks offer fun incentives and provide online education tools for kids.
If you open a kids savings account for your child, you can encourage them to deposit some of their allowance or holiday and birthday money into the account, with your help, of course. Your child can set a small financial goal and learn how saving money can help them buy the things they really want. This will help them develop skills to manage their money and set them up for financial solvency as adults.
When should I get a kids bank account?
Open a kids bank account once your child has a baseline understanding of the concept of money. This age may vary from child to child, but by 6 years old or so, most children have a basic understanding of money.
By 9 years old, your child should be mature enough to set small financial goals. You’ll want your child to be invested in the idea of having a savings account that’s theirs. Take them to the bank with you and set up a mobile app on their phone (if they have one) so they can check their balance and their progress.
The bottom line
Teaching financial responsibility to your child is crucial to ensure they’ll be able to handle their finances as an adult. A savings account will help to teach them to work toward larger goals and help them gain a sense of control over their money.
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